Plasmas can sustain longitudinal electron plasma waves with very large accelerating electric field, polarized along the propagation direction and with a phase velocity approaching the speed of light. These physical properties make plasma an ideal medium for acceleration of charged particles with very large accelerating gradient, orders of magnitude larger than in conventional accelerators.

Several milestones have been achieved so far in this direction, with a range of different approaches differing mainly for the technique used to drive excitation of the electron plasma wave and the electro n injection mechanisms. Due to the progress in all these areas, plasma acceleration is gradually becoming a solid approach to high gradient acceleration of charged particles with research moving fast towards the demonstration of reliable operation of a new generation of plasma-based radiation sources.

EuPRAXIA is an H2020 Infrastructure Design Study project that aims at delivering a conceptual design report for the worldwide first high energy plasma-based accelerator that can provide industrial beam quality and user areas. It is the important intermediate step between proof-of-principle experiments and ground-breaking, ultra-compact accelerators for science, industry, medicine or the energy frontier. The Intense Laser Irradiation Laboratory’s effort for the EuPRAXIA project is twofold. On one side we are responsible for the delivery of the PW-kW laser beamlines required by the EuPRAXIA installation. In addition, we are developing a novel laser-wakefield acceleration scheme capable of delivering the high quality electron bunch required by EuPRAXIA.

Recent ILIL publications on the project